Category: Construction

Minimum Stretch in Underwear

Undies are one of the easiest garments to sew (don’t ask me to call them panties, because I won’t). Streamlining construction, I combine the front and the back pieces at the crotch, so the only seams to sew are the side seams. Easy to make, yes, but I need more hands and fingers to tell you the number of times I’ve made a pair, but couldn’t fit them over my hips. That’s until I learned about minimum stretch. Working as an assistant in the technical design department, knits category, a big chunk of my time was spent flat measuring. Laying a garment flat on a table, I measured front body length, back body length, armhole depth, sweep, etc. One of the measurements I took was minimum stretch, and it was probably the most important spec I recorded. In a woven, closures such as zippers, buttons and plackets ensure that a customer can get in and out of a garment, but in a knit, you have to make sure that the garment can stretch enough so a customer can put his or her head, hips, hand or foot through the opening (that’s assuming it doesn’t have a closure). An example is a long-sleeve knit tee – one of the minimum stretch specs (there might be several in one garment) would be at the sleeve opening, and it would make sure a customer’s hand can get through. If the garment doesn’t meet spec, the pattern must be adjusted (or garments resewn) before it goes to production. No way, no how would any retailer allow a style to hit stores that a customer couldn’t wear. This is what I was missing in my undie makings. In an undie, the minimum stretch spec would be at the waist, and two factors affect it – fabric…

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tags: Construction Comments: 14

Guest Post: DIY Dress Form

My name is Melissa Taylor Jenkins, owner and designer of the clothing brand Katastrophic.  I’ve been following Madalynne for a while now – I absolutely love that it’s a blog for people who want to sew their own beautiful and well crafted clothing. A few weeks ago, I mentioned to Maddie that I had built a DIY dress form that I have found really helpful in my own designing and sewing, which I thought might be useful to her readers. Maddie invited me to write a guest post, and I’m so excited to share with you what I’ve learned about working with dress forms – how to find or make one that is truly professional, and a few basic ways they can drastically enhance your sewing and designing process. Personalized dress forms can be incredibly helpful for the seamstress who is making her own clothing.  I’m sure a lot of you have dealt with the frustration of trying to test fit, and pin, and drape garments on yourself. Having a dress form with your own body measurements can make the whole process a lot easier and actually more creative. A truly professional dress form is one that has important reference lines (center front, center back, side seams, and princess seams) sewn into the cover, and a soft surface that you can pin fabric to. In my opinion, adjustable dress forms, though tempting, are not the best option because the gaps in the forms are exactly on these reference lines, making it impossible to pin or measure anything that is perfectly balanced.  They can be helpful for adjusting the fit of an existing garment, but not for creating a new pattern or design.  The inexpensive ones often found at craft stores (cough-dritz-cough) are exceptionally low quality and are often not stable…

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tags: Construction, Fashon, Interview Comments: 11